Cool Tech Gifts for Dads and Grads

As summer approaches there are plenty of rituals and milestones to celebrate: kids graduate from high school, young adults graduate from college, and fathers are honored the third Sunday of June. What do all three groups have in common? They can be really, really hard to shop for.

Fortunately, chances are there's some digital or electronic geegaw they'll like. Kids headed off to college want devices for both learning and entertainment, which makes the iPad (or other tablet computers) a natural choice. A number of educational companies produce textbooks for the iPad, featuring more interactivity and gorgeous graphics. As a bonus, the iPad is a lot lighter than the paper tomes that students are used to lugging around campus.

The right gift for a college graduate will depend a lot on their future plans. If they're headed into the workforce and they've got a job that requires a fair amount of travel, a pair of noise-cancelling headphones will prove invaluable. A slick laptop-carrying case or briefcase will make a young professional look more professional than young. And if the college graduate in your life has yet to find a job, those same polished accessories can help them present well in an interview. (But let's face it. Anybody facing an extended period of job-searching would probably be happy with a Wii to help them pass the time.)

As for Dad: is he a reader? The Kindle Fire has gotten a lot of good press. Is he a new father? A digital camera and a hard drive mean you'll never be without baby photos. Is he a devoted follower of obscure television shows available only on Hulu, Netflix, or Amazon? Get him a Wii, Apple TV, or a TV with access to streaming video services. He'll be able to watch his favorite shows on a larger screen, and the whole family can benefit.

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